Last Thursday here in Portland 2500 people (at least) came to Schnitzer Auditorium to see Margaret Atwood and Ursula K. Le Guin, in conversation, on stage. As usual, Andrew Proctor gave a charming introduction — and then the two authors took the stage. They’ve published over eighty books, between the two of them. Fearless — this is how I would describe them both. And also hilarious. A great evening.
One of my favorite moments came during the (surprisingly raunchy) audience question-and-answer period. Thankfully, Literary Arts has jettisoned the strange slips-of-paper method for questions, and moved to a more straightforward, microphone-based approach. An audience member asked, basically: “How do you get your ideas?”
Atwood deadpanned her response. “It’s simple,” she said. “You can do it, too. You close your eyes. You put your left hand on the table. You put your right hand in the air. And — you’ll get an idea!”
It was a fabulous night. And now I’m really excited for the remainder of the Portland Arts & Lectures series (well, to be honest, I was already excited). Tickets are still available through their website.